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Barry looks for bounce in Bandon

April 27th, 2024 12:00 PM

By Sean Holland

Barry looks for bounce in Bandon Image
Bandon's Michael Cahalane will be a key player for the town side in this years Intermediate A championship.

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PAT BARRY, coach of the Bandon hurling team, is back in the game, focusing on rebuilding confidence in his squad and aiming to bring the team back to competing at the top levels of Cork hurling. Coming off the back of one relegation is tough, Bandon have faced two in three years. Now former Sarsfields man Barry, who managed Bandon back in 2022, outlines his hopes for the season with the town side. ‘Our main thing here is to get a bit of confidence back in lads and just get back to competing again. Training has been going well and we have a good squad.’

What has been the message to the squad this year to help Bandon get back up through the grades? ‘When you're losing games, it's very hard to enjoy and it's very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel in training,’ Barry said. ‘We didn't change things dramatically. We tweaked things a little bit. We sat them down, and we had a good chat with them. To be honest, they're a group of friends who work very hard. Sometimes seasons, I think, just go against you a little bit, which unfortunately happened last year. But so far, so good.

‘Things are good and positive, and the players seem to be enjoying it. They're coming home with a smile on their face, which is the best we can ask for, really,’ explained the Bandon coach. Barry has seen the good times in the club, and he’s witnessed the bad. The Sarsfields man moved to West Cork in 2016, witnessing the club winning a famous county double. Barry highlighted the benefits of the GAA in integrating into the community.

‘My wife (Fiona O’Leary) is from Bandon, so we moved down back in 2016 and I transferred over and played out the twilight of my career in Bandon. I wouldn't have had that much to offer, to be honest, when I came down. It was just enjoyment for me at that stage. I wasn't as competitive as I was when I was younger. ‘The important thing is knowing when you reach the end of your career,’ laughs Barry, who himself still togs out with Bandon juniors and was a goalscorer last weekend (see below).

'But GAA clubs are great when you move into a new area. It's a social circle and a group of fellas that you can row in with immediately. That was the best thing for me. Transfer down, get into the area properly, and become a part of the community, and part of the club.’

Barry explained the goals he and his management team, headed by Joe Burke, have for their squad this season. ‘We have to approach every game, to win. League, champi- onship, practice match, what- ever it is. ‘Winning is a habit, but at the same time, losing is also a habit. We don't want to get used to los- ing. We want to be competitive in everything we do.
‘So our aim is basically to attack every game that's coming along and win every game.’ Bandon will contest the Intermediate A championship this year, and will be in a group with Kildorrery, Erin’s Own, and Blackrock, teams Barry has seen many a time through the years.‘It's always hard to tell when you're in a group with club second teams. It's hard to know who Blackrock have, but they're going to be very competitive anyway. The same with Erin’s Own. I'm from Sarsfields originally, so I know all about Erin’s Own. I've been beaten a good few times by them. But as I said, our goal is to approach every game to win and we’ll see where that takes us’.

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